Marketing Pilgrim's "Video" Channel

Marketing Pilgrim's Video Channel is sponsored by Trackur.

NBC Shows Free for Download

No, it’s not iTunes, Hulu, Amazon or even BitTorrent. Soon you’ll be able to get your free fix of Heroes, Conan, and The Office—directly from NBC. Well, from their service, NBC Direct.

The ad-supported free content model is, of course, nothing new. In March, for example, CBS partnered with YouTube to provide free, ad-supported NCAA tourney clips. We reported:

In 2005, their subscription model pulled in $250,000. Not too shabby, but nothing compared to 2006, when they switched to a free, streaming, ad-based model: $4.5 million. That’s an 1800% increase.

Of course, there is a catch (or several). NBC Direct will only offer Windows-compatible files. The shows will be available as soon as they air (unlike their Amazon deal, which will offer season premieres in advance), but the digital files will expire seven days after airing. The advertising cannot be skipped.

Turkey Bans YouTube Access

A court in the eastern city of Sivas, Turkey, ordered the country’s telecom company to block YouTube access from the country, according to AP.

The ban comes after the video site hosted a video insulting Turkey’s founder, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, as well as President Abdullah Gul, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the army.

Apparently, it’s a big deal in Turkey to insult Ataturk and this is the second time the country has blocked YouTube for allowing critical videos of him.

In response, a media advocacy group has criticized Turkey.

“Blocking an entire Web site because of a few videos is a disproportionate measure,” the Paris-based Reporters Without Borders said. “We urge the authorities to reverse this decision.”

Reuters Is Watching

Reuters has announced a facial-recognition video search program this week. In conjunction with Viewdle, facial recognition software, Reuters will index its videos so that readers can search its news footage for individuals.

Reuters’ video search results currently appear in a box at the right of the Reuters’ SERPs:
Reuters video search results

The Face Search feature, currently housed at Reuters Labs, gives a vastly different result page:

Reuters Labs facial recognition video search

The text listings here are less illustrative than the screencaps used in the standard interface. However, the results are doubtlessly more thorough. For the face search, Viewdle takes the video frame-by-frame for complete analysis. Handily, these results return the clips cued to the exact time that the individual first appears.

MediaPost reports that the feature will be integrated into the new site after an evaluation of user statistics and feedback.

Internet TV Goes to the Next Level?

The New York Times reports that Internet television will be taken to the next level this fall by the show ‘Quarterlife.’ Rather than taking the traditional television-pirated YouTube copy-DMCA notice-possible posting at network’s video portal or empty promises route to the Internet for professional video content, ‘Quarterlife’ episodes will premiere on MySpace. The following day, they’ll be available on quarterlife.com, and within a week “generally available on the Web” (I guess this means on YouTube).

Airing Sundays and Thursdays starting in November, the times seems to think the show marks the beginning of a new era for Internet shows. LonelyGirl15 became popular while posing as an authentic vlog; it was only after the show became popular that it was revealed that it was a professional, scripted production. (Incidentally, ‘Quarterlife’ features LonelyGirl15′s character Aunt Alex, Bitsie Tulloch.)

Hulu Already Living Up To Its Name

Lulu not HuluOnly one week has passed since NBC / News Corp announced the name of their online video project – Hulu.
And it was TechCrunch that made us all laugh when they ironically translated Hulu into Swahili – meaning, among other things, “cease” and “desist”.

Observations like that usually fizzle away – at least Jason Kilar, Hulu CEO, wishes it would. Yesterday, Lulu Enterprises confirmed that they have filed a law suit against N-F Newsite LLC (the operating company) for “trademark infringement, unfair and deceptive trade practices and for federal cyberpiracy” in a US District Court on August 22.

Lulu alleges that Hulu, as a result of their recent name and Internet domain announcements, have intentionally attempted to create confusion in the marketplace.
Hulu, in name, as a mark and in their business as a digital content distribution platform, represents a definitive encroachment.

NBC Waste No Time With Amazon Deal

NBCLast Friday (Aug 31) Jordan blogged about the alleged bust-up between NBC Universal and Apple over pricing – also covering the speculation over alternative partners and forecasting a speedy counter-decision from NBC executives.

Well, our First Lady (no offence to Mrs Beal) wasn’t wrong; NBC wasted no time in securing a new download outlet for their premium television shows – swiftly signing a partnership deal to host their digital TV content with Amazon’s Unbox – an online store already selling NBC Universal’s movies.

This represents another blow to Apple – Universal Music Group had already decided not to renew their contract for music downloads over a decision to offer DRM-free content across other networks.

NBC Ditches iTunes

Claiming they’re unable to come to an agreement on pricing, NBC Universal has declined to renew their contract with iTunes to sell downloads of their television shows. The New York Times reports today that NBC, which has provided 40% of iTunes’ video downloads, “is also seeking better piracy controls and wants Apple to allow it to bundle videos to increase revenue.”

Riiiight. Pricing. I totally buy that reasoning, and so does Mike Arrington—NOT. NBC’s crazily-named video site, Hulu.com, launches in private beta in October. I wonder how long it’ll be before they start selling their licensed content there.